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What is the safest drug that can treat Bipolar? Is lithium safe to take?

Dec 2014
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Practicing since : 2007
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what is the safest affective drug that can treat Bipolar in adult and childre? is lithium safe to take for treating bipolar for my husband and daughter 12 years old? how can I monitor toxic signs when taken? what is the safest dose for him and her( he is 90 KG and she is 38 kg).
Posted Fri, 8 Nov 2013 in Mental Health
Answered by Dr. Seikhoo Bishnoi 1 hour later
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Detailed Answer:
Welcome to Health Care Magic

In bipolar disorder mood stabilizers are used commonly. Mood stabilizers like Sodium Valproate, Lithium, Lamotrizine, low dose atypical antipsychotics like Resperidone, olanzapine etc are used.

Lithium is a good and safe drug that is used in bipolar disorder. If given with proper prescription and in adequate doses the drug is very useful. It is a good drug to use in adults but in children commonly sodium valproate or low dose antipsychotics are used.

Lithium levels should be checked frequently while on lithium therapy. Normal therapeutic levels are 0.6-1.2 mmol/ltr. Levels below the lower level and above the high levels can not provide effectiveness. Levels above 1.5 usually manifest as toxic symptoms.

Common toxic signs are tremors, ataxia, nausea, vomiting, confusion etc. You can clinically check for tremors as tremors are earliest signs of toxicity. While on lithium therapy patient should be adequately hydrated. Any diarrhea, vomiting should not be ignored. In very high doses it may cause convulsions or coma.

In adults doses are started with 300 mg per day and increased to 600-900 mg per day depending upon clinical response. Levels should be checked in early morning empty stomach. Morning dose should be skipped and even water should be avoided after evening dose.

As your husband suffer from side effects from resperidone so you can start with lithium with proper prescription. Other safe drugs that can be used in bipolar are olanzapine, sodium valproate etc.

Your daughter is taking resperidone since last 6 years at 1 mg dosing. Usually at 1 mg doses side effects are not observed but if she is having side effects I would advise you to consult a Psychiatrist again for re-evaluation of her diagnosis. Bipolar at the age of 6 is not very common and other diagnosis like attention deficit disorders should be ruled out. She can be given sodium valproate for her mood symptoms and the drug is also available in low doses like 250 mg tablets also which can be used in children.

In children lithium doses like 300 mg sustained release tablets can be used.

Hope this helps you, if you have more questions you can ask again.

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